Candied Orange Slices

Chewy candied orange slices make for a perfect garnish or your favorite cocktails, cupcakes and more. Follow this easy recipe to make the best candied oranges and use them for any special occasion.

Sliced blood oranges on a white plate.

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Candied Orange Slices recipe

Have you ever had those orange gummy candies that are generously coated in a sugary sweet outer layer? These candied orange slices remind so much of that gummy candy!

When you put citrus fruits through the candying process, they turn into a soft and sugary snack that are just great for so many different things. You can turn homemade cupcakes into bakery quality treats with a beautiful garnish a sugary orange slice. These yummy little sugar slices area fabulous garnish for you favorite cocktails too.

I love adding these to treats and drinks for the holiday season! They’re a festive touch that brings color and flavor to my creations. I mean, a blood orange mimosa at Christmas brunch with a garnish of a candied orange slice is both gorgeous and delicious.

The best part of this recipe is that you don’t have to peel the oranges. A candied orange peel take on the sugary flavor and leave their bitter flavor behind. Essentially, you just cut up an orange into thin slices and then get started. This simple recipe won’t take long at all!

More orange recipes: Dehydrated Orange SlicesOrange Poppy Seed MuffinsOrange Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

Why you’ll love this recipe

Sugar and oranges, what’s not love about that flavor combination. You’ll love this candied orange recipe because:

  • There are so many uses for these citrus slices. It is very versatile and can be used in a variety of your favorite recipes and snacks.
  • Presentation of your drinks, sweets, and other recipe is elevated with these slices of candied orange. The sugar makes them almost glittery — some may say even snowy!
  • This is a great way to repurpose oranges that you otherwise would not use. You can even buy a ton of oranges when they are in season with the purpose of making this yummy little treat. There is no need to let an abundance of oranges go to waste when you can make slices and sweetness with this easy recipe.
A white plate with slices of oranges on it.

Tools & equipment 

To make this orange slices recipe, you will need a large bowl for ice water and a large saucepan for the candying process.

Make sure you have a very sharp knife and cutting board to slice the orange. A glass measuring cup will help you measure out the sugar and water that you will need.

For the drying process, you will also need a wire rack and a large baking sheet. If you plan to store your finished slices, then make sure you have a large airtight container and parchment paper in case you need to stack them.


Check the grocery store and your local farmers market for the freshest oranges and make sure you have the other things needed as well! Here the simple ingredients needed for this recipe:

Oranges, water and a measuring cup of sugar on a marble table.
  • sliced oranges: There are many different kinds of oranges, and it doesn’t matter which one you use! You can use blood oranges, cara cara oranges, mandarin oranges or any other kind of oranges you prefer. The size of the oranges also doesn’t matter much, though I prefer to use medium or large oranges instead of small oranges.
  • water: For the best flavor, I recommend using purified or filtered water especially if your tap water tends to have a funny flavor.
  • sugar: You will use granulated white sugar for these caramelized oranges, but you can also save some extra to dust a sugar coating onto the finished product. I recommend this because it adds more flavor, texture, and pretty finish to your candied orange slices.

Substitution Tip: This recipe and method will work for any kind of citrus. Use it to candy lime slices, lemon slices or even grapefruit slices.

How to Make Candied Orange Slices

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make these candied orange slices. Just follow these steps and I’ll guide you through the cooking process:

Begin by preparing an ice bath in a large bowl.

Bring a cup of water to boil in a medium saucepan, then add the sliced oranges. Cook them in the water for 2 minutes. (Ignore that these are lemons — I forgot to get pictures of the oranges!)

A pan with lemon slices on it sitting on top of a stove.
Lemon slices in water with ice cubes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the slices and immediately place them in the ice bath. If you are making multiple different types of citrus, do this blanching process with each you plan to cook.

If needed, add more water and then toss it.

Add 2 cups of water and 2 cups sugar into a large saucepan to begin the orange syrup. Bring the sugar mixture to a simmer and make sure that all sugar is fully dissolved.

A person pouring liquid into a pan on a stove.
Sliced oranges and lemons in a bowl of water.

Place the orange slices in a single layer in the sugar syrup. Don’t stir, instead use tongs to flip the slices if they begin to curl up.

Cook for 30-40 minutes until the flesh of the fruit is thinned. Place a wire rack onto a baking sheet.

Sliced blood oranges on a cooling rack.

Then remove from the oranges from the syrup and place them onto the cooling rack. Let them cool completely to room temperature.

An orange sitting in a bowl of sugar.

If desired, coat the slices in sanding sugar or extra granulated sugar. Serve or store for later!

Tips & tricks

To have the best success when making candied orange slices, check out these pro tips:

  • If you plan to make oranges and lemons together, the lemons will get a more orange color. If you would prefer they stay their pale yellow shade, then make them first. You can do the oranges after the lemon slices are complete.
  • Don’t skip the blanching process while trying to make this recipe go more quickly. It is important to do because it makes the citrus peels less bitter.
  • Make sure to cut the oranges into even slices. You don’t want some thick slices and some thin slices. The more even they are, the more uniform they will turn out!

How to Use Candied Orange Slices

You can use candied oranges on a variety of different foods and beverages.

It is a wonderful garnish on desserts like tarts, cakes, and any other sweet treat that needs a pretty topping.

Cocktails like this mandarin orange gin and tonic and a blood orange whiskey sour would pair wonderfully with a sugary orange side kick. It would pair well with a screwdriver drink or salty dog too!

If you’d like, dip these sugary candied orange slices in melted chocolate for extra sweetness. They’d be an excellent fruity addition to a Christmas charcuterie board. You can even place them into a holiday-themed tin and then give them to friends and family as a gift!

Use these slices on top of ice cream, sorbet, and any other treat your imagination can dream up!

Blood orange slices on a white plate.


How do you take the bitterness out of candied oranges?

The blanching process is key in removing the bitterness out of the orange peel. If you skip this process then you will likely have candied orange peel that is not sweet and has a very bitter taste to it. The sugar syrup and coating will help, but in order to have perfect candied orange slices, you must blanche them first!

How do I store candied orange slices?

Place the slices into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to a month. However, the slices are best used quickly as they could become too chewy over time.

Sliced blood oranges on a cooling rack.

More Garnish Recipes

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Sliced blood oranges on a white plate.

Candied Orange Slices

Yield: 24 slices
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
These sugar sweet candied orange slices are the perfect garnish for so many different treats! Make them with just 3 ingredients.
4.98 from 39 votes
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  • 2 oranges sliced
  • 2 ½ cups water divided
  • 2 cups sugar plus more for dusting if desired


  • Prepare an ice bath in a bowl.
  • Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in the ice bath. Do this for all the citrus you plan to cook.
  • If needed, add more water, then toss it. Begin the syrup with 2 cups water and 2 cups sugar. This process is called blanching and it makes the citrus peels less bitter.
  • Add sugar to the water and stir until dissolved. Bring to a simmer.
  • Add citrus slices in a single layer. Don’t stir, but you can use tongs to flip them if they begin to cup — this helps them lie flat.
  • Cook for 30-40 minutes, until the fruit part of the slices are thinned.
  • Place a wire baking rack on a baking sheet. Remove the slices from the syrup and place on the wire rack. Let cool completely.
  • If desired, you can coat the slices in sanding sugar or granulated sugar.


Use a variety of types of oranges to get different colors. I used navel oranges, cara cara oranges and blood oranges. You can also make candied limes, lemons or grapefruit. 
The candied slices can be used to decorate drinks and desserts, or you can eat them plain.

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nutrition information

Yield: 24 slices

amount per serving:

Serving: 1slice Calories: 69kcal Carbohydrates: 18g Protein: 0.1g Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0.002g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.003g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003g Sodium: 1mg Potassium: 20mg Fiber: 0.3g Sugar: 18g Vitamin A: 25IU Vitamin C: 6mg Calcium: 5mg Iron: 0.02mg
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